AN: This is a response to a challenge made long ago that I neither remember whom or when was issued, but thought that it had great potential here's the gist with my own spin on things.
AN 2: I had written this last summer with the intention of posting the next chapter the following week unfortunately the saying "Man plans, God laughs." applies well to what was happening in my real life at the time. Well I'm back now and hope to have the next part of this out by end of week.
Summary: What happens when one small detail is changed during a typical day on the Hellmouth? One young man finds out what it means to step up to the plate and become the hero he always dreamed of being.
Canon up to Season 3 episode "Gingerbread" AU after that
Rating: R (you'll see later) for dark humor, gratuitous sex and violence and all the things that make America such a fantastic country. Just kidding guys, but read on you'll see.
Story Notes: This is a Xander centric fic and will have some crossovers (later) with various characters that only the incredibly geeky will recognize. Also there will be X/? haven't decided yet who I'm open to suggestions (although I'm ruling out Anya right now). Oh by the way long time reader, first time writer so constructive criticism is appreciated.
Notes 2: Major shout out to some of my favorite writers (and in no particular order) Methos, Grey Wizard, Nodakskip and Staraway Man, the Dark Scribbler, Keith Wrestle, and MrPrattky, thanks for some wonderful stories to read.
Disclaimer: This is for fun and yucks, so don't sue me.
May you live in interesting times.
-Ancient Chinese Curse
--January 12, 1999 City Hall, Sunnydale, CA early
"So how are we going to do this three stakes with the girls tied to them?" Joyce Summers asked the collected group of MOO that were present.
It had been a tense couple of days after the murder of 2 small children in the park had been discovered by Buffy and Joyce. Buffy had understood atrocities like that were to be expected while living on the Hellmouth, Joyce however did not. She, the rest of the parents, and the community at large had organized to take back the streets of Sunnydale. The idea to organize into MOO (Mothers Opposed to the Occult) had been a simple one meant to protect the innocent. Joyce and Willow's mother, Sheila, had realized that they needed to take it a step further and eradicate the influence those touched by the occult had on the community. The idea to burn all of the occult influences in town had come quite naturally and all were in agreement that was the right thing to do.
"Actually Joyce, according to history most witches and demons were tied together on one stake not separate." Replied Sheila Rosenburg.
An unnamed man shouted out, "Great idea ladies this will save time and we'll be able to burn them faster."
"Good, good let's go get the girls." Smiled Joyce.
--January 12, 1999 City Hall, Sunnydale, CA later
Buffy was in and out of consciousness when she realized that she was tied to something hard and someone was near her.
"Buffy, wake up we're in big trouble." Screamed Willow. After being taken from her room and tied to this stake she and Amy Madison had been thinking of anything that could get them out of the mess they were currently in. She thought after being tied with Amy to the same stake that Buffy would be there soon and rescue them. Her hopes were destroyed when the unconscious Slayer was dragged in and tied to the same stake.
Amy Madison meanwhile was wondering what she had done to deserve this and was hoping against hope that someone else would come to there rescue, with Buffy out of it she was wondering what she could do to help all three of them.
Her thoughts were cut off when she suddenly heard someone in the mob yell, "Burn the witches now, burn them."
Torches were brought to the pile of books igniting them, Amy's hope in help arriving was quickly going further and further south. She turned to Willow and said, "Do you have any ideas on how to get out of this?"
Willow resigned to the fact that she was going to be burned to death turned to Amy and whispered, "No, do you?"
"No, but these idiots are really starting to piss me off." Buffy shouted, as she struggled against the ropes. "Wills they drugged me before tying me to this and I can't break the ropes can you or Amy do something to loosen this?"
"Buffy I can't access my magic like this I may end up making things worse." Willow shouted fearfully. Suddenly, they heard banging and shouting on the outside door of the room and realized the cavalry had come. Unfortunately, the cavalry was arriving too late for when they would be able to break the door down all three of them would be dead.
"Look at the witches all afraid, burn and burn they'll die today." Chanted one adult in the crowd.
Amy Madison had one idea on how to get out of this she looked at the crowd and shouted. "All right you want to fry a witch, I'll give you a witch. Goddess Hecate work thy will," Amy's eyes turned black and her hands began to glow. "Before thee let thee unclean thing crawl!" The glow around Amy's hands began to spread to the surrounding area around all three of the girls.
The crowd looked on completely awestruck not moving an inch. It was at that moment that Rupert Giles and Cordelia Chase broke down the door and Xander Harris and Oz fell through the ceiling. Just enough time to see the glow surrounding the girls and then just as suddenly all three disappear with their clothing dropping to floor. A few second later three rat's crawled from the burning book pile scampering away.
"NOOOO!!!!" shouted Xander Harris. Oz, Cordy, and Giles were just in shock at what had happened.
Sunnydale High School Library January 15th morning.
Xander Harris trudged into the library looking like he hadn't slept in the last three days. The demon or spirit or whatever it was that had caused the mass hysteria to infect the town had disappeared as quickly as it had appeared. The end result was he, Giles, Oz and Cordelia collecting the "girls" and leaving the town hall as quickly as possible for the library in the hopes of returning the girls to normal. That had been the cruel joke of it all after researching all night they had discovered that when a witch or warlock invoked a God for a spell the only one who could break it would be the very person who had cast the spell. Amy may have saved all three of them from being incinerated, but in the end the girls, "his girls" Xander thought, were trapped in the form of rats.
Giles was refusing to give up and had started contacting his friends in the occult world and the Council to find out what if anything could be done. Xander had overheard him speaking with an old friend named Kent and he was now trying to reach someone named Jason, but Xander was not holding his breath. Oz, along with Amy's friend Michael, were spending time in the Library helping Giles research, Cordy had decided to stay away reverting more and more to the vapid bitch she had been before they had started dating. Faith had been appraised of the situation and was learning to be a solitary Slayer with Giles guidance although the Council had sent word her permanent Watcher would be arriving within the week. Angel had bolted from Sunnydale as soon as he had received the new from Giles as to what had happened. Xander had suspected that Deadboy had run because the watcher still held him accountable for Jenny's death and without Buffy to stop him would have picked up right where the two of them left off on that dark night last spring.
Yesterday had been the worst when he and Giles had gone to Willow's parents and Amy's father to try and explain what had happened. Both families had listened to what the two had to say and then had immediately thrown them out of their respective homes. The Rosenburg's had told Xander that he was no longer welcome and he would do well to never show his face again. Mr. Madison had said he had had enough of Sunnydale and was leaving. Joyce and Dawn Summers had been a little easier on them, Joyce was feeling nothing but tremendous guilt over what she had done to her oldest daughter and Dawn was walking around the house in a daze missing her sister. Xander mad a mental note to keep an eye on both of them.
All this had happened and Xander felt like was being left alone to his own devices. He didn't know what the future was going to bring, but he would not abandon "his girls" or stop trying to help.
He walked up to the large pet cage where the three rats were scurrying or playing and threw a couple of pieces of cheese in as a treat. "I'm sorry this happened to you all, I wish we had gotten there sooner. Giles told me that you can't understand what I'm saying in this form, that when you get changed back you'll feel this was all a dream. I don't know what help I can be, but I'm gonna do everything I can to make sure you guys are human again. I promise you all that, I love you all and yeah Amy I'm including you in that as well, I've known you just as long as Wills and I always considered you a friend. Buffy, I promise to help protect your Mom and sister from this town, Wills your gonna get to be with Oz again, no matter what it takes." He looked at the three rats and knew he'd see his girls again and then he looked around the library and realized if he was gonna continue to help he would have to make changes, he would have to get better. He realized he was a human fighting in a war and that Good had just lost three superhuman sources of power. He also realized the fact that he was human was no longer an excuse to lose. It was time to become more than himself, he just hoped he would figure out how.
AN: There will be more to this, feed back would be appreciated.
***AN2: For those interested I did say this was going to be a crossover and I left a little kernel of a clue in the prologue, any of those curious are more than welcome to guess. Also I'm not sure if I like the title for this and if anyone would be interested in making alternative suggestions I would I would appreciate it.